Telchinia encedon

Telchinia encedon
White-barred Acraea
Telchinia encedon encedon
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Genus: Telchinia
Species: T. encedon
Binomial name
Telchinia encedon
(Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Papilio encedon Linnaeus, 1758
  • Hyalites encedon (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Acraea encedon (Linnaeus, 1758)

The Common Acraea, White-barred Acraea or Encedon Acraea (Telchinia encedon) is a butterfly of the Nymphalidae family. It is found in tropical Africa and south-western Arabia.

Telchinia encedon encedon



The wingspan is 40–50 mm, with the female being slightly larger than the male, but otherwise similar in pattern and colour. The apex of the forewing is blackish and divided by a white bar. The rest of the surface of the wings are usually orange with black spots, however paler varieties with a greyish or yellowish base colour are also found.


There are two subspecies:

  • Telchinia encedon encedon is found in Africa south of the Sahara and in Madagascar. In South Africa this species is absent from the dry western parts of the country, but common in KwaZulu-Natal coastal areas on the eastern side of the country.
  • Telchinia encedon rathjensi is found in south-western Arabia.

Life cycle


Larva of Telchinia encedon encedon

The eggs are oval in shape.


The larvae feed on Commelina species, such as Commelina diffusa.


The flight period of the adults is all year, but they are most common from March to May. They are slow fliers, and perch on low-growing vegetation.

Further Discussion

In some populations there are two kinds of females, one producing offspring in a normal 1:1 sex ratio, the other producing females only. In other populations the sex ratio is apparently normal. Scientists first believed the distorted sex-ratio was caused by a driving W chromosome. Later research suggests it is caused by cytoplasmic bacteria.

The butterfly is a polymorphic Müllerian mimic of Danaus chrysippus, which is a highly unusual phenomenon as Müllerian mimicry is almost always monomorphic.

External links